Decorating walls with framed photographs, favorite prints, or beloved souvenirs helps personalize a space while improving a room’s ambiance without a large investment. Using poster frames to hang wall art is one of the easiest ways to begin decorating a room. They can secure prints and mementos of many sizes and styles, transforming them into wall-worthy art.
There are nearly as many combinations of styles, material, and aesthetics in the poster frame market as there are prints. Finding the best poster frames for displaying art means taking into account the nearly limitless options. To help identify a poster frame that works for your space, check out the features to consider and some of the best poster frames on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Americanflat 24 x 36 inch White Poster Frame
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: upsimples 11×14 Picture Frame Set of 5
- BEST MODERN: Framebridge Mercer Slim Clean Black Gallery Frame
- BEST RUSTIC: MCS Museum Poster Frame, Medium Oak Woodgrain
- BEST TRADITIONAL: Poster Palooza 21×21 Traditional Mahogany Wood Frame
- BEST MIDCENTURY: Framebridge Mandalay Gold Bamboo Frame
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Poster Frames
Poster frames come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, shapes, and materials. Varying price points offer different levels of build quality, aesthetics, hanging options, and colors. Knowing which poster frame works best is a matter of considering where it is going to hang and what will go in it. Read on to discover some of the most important things to consider when choosing the best poster frames for updating a space.
Frame manufacturers offer a dizzying array of construction materials and glass options. Metal and wood are the two most popular frame types. Metal is a popular choice for poster frames thanks to a wide selection of colors, finishes, and high durability. Some metal options include aluminum, bronze, silver, and gold.
- Aluminum is a lightweight and corrosion-resistant option. It also is inexpensive, attractive, and readily available.
- Bronze is an alloy that tends to be heavier than aluminum. Though bronze frames are appealing options, bronze oxidizes over the years and often requires as much maintenance as wood.
- Silver and gold are durable. They are heavy materials that provide a dash of sheen to the artwork within. As precious metals, these materials are more expensive.
Wood is the most popular construction material in the world. While there are many wood options, it tends to require more maintenance than metal. There are three main categories of wood poster frames.
- Natural wood is the most traditional poster frame material. It comes in nearly as many varieties as there are trees. Popular examples include softwoods like pine and cedar, and hardwoods like oak, walnut, and cherry.
- MDF (medium density fiberboard) is a processed product made from wood particles. It is usually less expensive than natural wood, heavier than aluminum, and offers consistent coloring or grain pattern.
- Finger-jointed poplar is another processed product constructed from wood scraps. Poplar is light, inexpensive, and often made from recycled materials.
There also are options for the frame’s glazing. Less expensive options may offer acrylic or plastic rather than glass, and some frames may not have any glazing. The best poster frames offer a glazing covering to protect art from potential damage.
- Glass is heavy and can break if mishandled, but it offers the most transparent and protective covering to keep artwork looking new for years.
- Acrylic is another popular covering. It is lighter than glass and more difficult to break but often does not offer the same clarity as glass.
Wall prints can range from the size of a standard postcard to a custom print that covers an entire wall. Several popular sizes adhere to standard print dimensions. Determining the proper measurements is a crucial step toward finding the best poster frames.
The most common rectangular sizes range in size from 11 by 14 inches to 27 by 40 inches. Less standard square sizes range from 12 by 12 inches to 40 by 40 inches. Not all prints need to fill the entire frame. Matting can add a pleasing border to accentuate art, but it requires more space. Compare the size of the print to the frame’s dimensions before purchasing, and determine whether matting will be used.
Comparing available wall space to the number and size of the artwork presents choices that can drastically alter a room. Consider the wall space in relation to the size of the print before purchase.
The frame type is nearly as important as selecting the print. Different types of frames can drastically alter the look of the art and affect the overall look of a room. The following varieties are some of the best poster frame styles.
- Standard picture frames come in several sizes corresponding to popular print sizes and an array of colors, materials, and styles.
- Frameless or invisible poster frames create a nearly invisible covering for wall art by securing two panes of clear plastic or glass between small clips.
- Deep-set picture frames add depth to wall art. Thicker than standard materials and measurements add a new dimension to displays.
- Beveled picture frames also add a new dimension to framing. A beveled frame employs slopes and edges to add interesting counterpoints to prints and wall areas.
- Gilded frames tend to be heavy, but they offer ornate and high-quality options. Initially, gilding required gold, but silver and other less-expensive materials are available in gilded styles.
Location and Placement
Hanging frames requires a little vision and a few skills with the measuring tape. Whether hanging a single piece or a series, consider these tips for optimum results.
- Consider outlining proposed arrangements and focal points with painter’s tape before hanging the art. The print center should be at about eye level, though circumstances may require higher hanging points.
- Setting up a tape outline offers an enhanced vision of how the wall looks before installation of the artwork. Be sure to use the right nails and tools for the job, and keep in mind the studs’ location for securing heavy pieces.
- When hanging groups of wall art, picture the installation as one piece. For example, when hanging four similarly sized complementary items, envision them as a single square rather than individual components.
Our Top Picks
Identifying the best poster frames requires considering a combination of size, style, and price. Here are some of the best options based on these characteristics in a variety of categories to aid the search and to help elevate your wall art.
This white poster frame from Americanflat fits in well in many situations. Built with a wood frame, this model measures 24 by 36 inches. The maker also offers other sizes, ranging from 12 by 18 inches to 24 by 36 inches. This frame can be hung horizontally or vertically depending on the preferred orientation of the piece.
A polished plexiglass panel serves as a glazing covering. Though not as clear as high-quality glass, the plastic is highly transparent, shatterproof, and weighs less than glass. This model includes a backboard for preventing slipping and wrinkling. Overall, the Americanflat model is an excellent combination of price, utility, and quality.
This set of five frames from upsimples provides enough frames to decorate an entire wall in one pack. The frames come with an option for matting and include a spring-loaded synthetic wood backing to secure the print and prevent sliding.
These simple frames work well with nearly any design theme. There are 12 color themes offered in rectangular sizes ranging from 9 by 12 inches to 16 by 20 inches. The covering is plastic rather than glass, which eliminates the danger of shattering and makes the frame lightweight.
Restyle an entire wall with this pack of five inexpensive and attractive frames.
Framebridge’s Mercer Slim frames are each built to order with the specific artwork in mind. Customizability, service, and modern styling combine at a moderate price point in this contemporary frame. The frame is slim and low profile for minimal impact. Framebridge also offers a selection of acid-free matting with this frame.
Sizes available range from 4 inches wide by 41 or more inches tall. The profile measures ¾-inch wide and 1⅛-inch deep. Select the desired dimensions, and Framebridge delivers this custom frame with paper backing, hanging hardware, and acid-free matting. The UV-resistant acrylic glaze protects the print from light or stain damage.
For artwork with a rustic theme, the MCS poster frame comes in medium oak grain over extruded plastic. The profile of the frame is 1¼ inch, and the covering is clear polystyrene plastic, which protects from dust and damage with the sheen of glass. The plastic construction offers the aesthetic of wood without the associated maintenance.
Sizes range from 11 by 17 inches to 24 by 36 inches at standard intervals and come with a medium density fiberboard (MDF) backboard to aid in securing and smoothing the poster. The profile of the frame measures 1¼. Each package includes two frames.
This Poster Palooza traditional square frame comes in a selection of 19 colors and designs. Size choices range from a tiny 3 by 3 inches to 27 by 27 inches. The covering is UV-resistant acrylic to protect the print from light and physical damage.
The frame set comes with acid-free foam board backing and hanging hardware. The wood frame pushes about ½ inch from the wall, and the molding width is about 5/16 inch. These frames suit many decorative themes and are great for art prints, diplomas, mirrors, and other wall art. Keep in mind that this frame is designed for square art; rectangular pieces will not fit in this frame without matting.
Customizable sizes ranging from 4 inches to 41 inches make this frame an excellent choice for spaces with midcentury themes. Like other Framebridge products, this frame includes optional acid-free matting, backing paper, and hanging hardware. The gold bamboo stands out best with midcentury design themes. The frame measures ¾-inch wide by ⅞-inch deep for a nice profile on the wall.
Framebridge custom handcrafts their frames to order for specific artwork. An additional bonus is that Framebridge builds, assembles, and ships the frame direct to the customer based on the desired measurements and matting choices.
FAQs About Poster Frames
There are many considerations when it comes to choosing the best poster frame for artwork. If you have lingering questions or want to find the best poster frame quickly, have a look at some of the answers to frequently asked questions about poster frames.
Q. How do I choose a frame for a poster?
Poster frames are available in a wide array of sizes and styles. First, determine the size of the desired art and then locate a frame based on that size. Then, narrow down options using preferred aesthetic and build qualities.
Q. What size poster frame should I get?
The size poster frame depends on the art’s size and whether you intend to use matting or an oversize frame. Measure the dimensions of the print. If it is a standard size, there will be a plethora of options.
Q. How do you frame a poster without wrinkles?
One strategy for framing a poster without wrinkles involves using four rolled pieces of masking tape to fasten the poster to a sheet of cardboard. Place the poster and cardboard flat, and then cover it with paperweights or heavy books for a day or two. Frame the poster with the cardboard backing to prevent sliding and wrinkles.
Q. Are custom frames available if my poster does not fit into a poster frame?
Not all artwork will fit into standard poster frame sizes. Online frame shops will build a frame tailored to most any needs in virtually any material. Keep in mind that this tends to be more expensive than buying a standard frame.